Monday, July 13, 2009

Endangered Capsules

The New York Times recently featured an article about Kisho Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower from 1972, a rare built example of the Japanese Metabolist movement. The building has been studied by architecture and design students worldwide and is dear to those who appreciate the cultural ideals behind the admittedly depcrepit building. In an interview with the architect before his death, the reasons for its current state and why so many of its owners are calling for its destruction are revealed. Most of the owners inherited the cramped, dated capsules and have no attachment to them while the bankrupt Nakagin company is taken over by an American hedge fund looking to turn a profit. While the architect and friends of the buidling reason its viable continued existence by replacing the capsules (which was part of the original intent of the design) the more likely result is the demolition of the building to be replaced by a more modern and profitable solution. A bitter loss indeed. (via Deisgnboom and Figure Ground)

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